New Delhi: The Supreme Court has given its nod to the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) to hold elections, setting aside the stay imposed by the Punjab and Haryana high court.
The division Bench of Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice Pankaj Mithal on Tuesday, November 28, said it failed to understand “how the entire process of the election could have been set at naught” by the high court.
“Pending a writ petition filed by the Haryana Wrestling Association, by an interim order the high court has stayed the election of WFI. We fail to understand how the entire process of the election could have been set at naught by HC. The proper course would have been to allow the election to be conducted and make the election subject to the outcome of the pending writ petition,” The Hindu quoted the Bench as saying.
The court further said, “Accordingly, the impugned order granting interim relief is set aside. It will be open for the Returning Officer to proceed with the election by publishing a revised election programme. We make it clear that the outcome of the election will be subject to orders that may be passed in the petition.”
The wrestling body is under suspension by the sport’s world governing body, United World Wrestling (UWW), for not holding elections after its chief was charged with sexual misconduct. The elections were supposed to be held initially on July 4, which were then rescheduled to August 12. They were delayed for the first time given that the Returning Officer was not appointed. Following this, the Assam Wrestling Association filed a petition in the Gauhati high court to further delay the elections.
The apex court had earlier sought the response of the Union government and others on a plea by the ad-hoc committee constituted to run the WFI challenging a stay imposed by the Punjab and Haryana high court on holding elections to the wrestling body. The ad-hoc committee had approached the top court against the September 25 order of the high court putting the elections on hold. On August 29, the apex court had refused to interfere with the high court’s order to stay the WFI elections.